New ANSI Standard for "Prevention Through Design"

In September the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) announced the approval of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ASSE Z590.3 standard, "Prevention through Design: Guidelines for Addressing Occupational Risks in Design and Redesign Processes."  ASSE served as the ANSI secretariat for the approved standards committee which developed the standard.

The new standard provides guidance on including prevention through design concepts within an occupational safety and health management system. Through the application of these concepts, decisions pertaining to occupational hazards and risks can be incorporated into the process of design and redesign of work premises, tools, equipment, machinery, substances, and work processes including their construction, manufacture, use, maintenance, and ultimate disposal or reuse. This standard provides guidance for a life-cycle assessment and design model that balances environmental and occupational safety and health goals over the life span of a facility, process, or product.

Z590.3 focuses on the four key stages of occupational risk management: pre-operational, operational, post incident and post operational.  

Development and publication of this standard was a major goal for the NIOSH Prevention through Design Plan for the National Initiative.  ASSE’s leadership in developing this standard and gaining ANSI approval lays the foundation for organizations to include prevention through design principles in their occupational safety and health management systems.  The standard also provides tools for determining and achieving acceptable levels of risk to hazards that cannot be eliminated during design.
Z590.3 complements, but does not replace, performance objectives existing in other specific standards and procedures. The goals of applying prevention through design concepts in an occupational setting are to: achieve acceptable risk level; prevent or reduce occupationally related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities; and reduce the cost of retrofitting necessary to mitigate hazards and risks that were not sufficiently addressed in the design or redesign processes.

A 10-page technical brief for this standard is attached below.  Copies of the entire standard are available for purchase on the ASSE website:

Z590.3TechBrief9-2011.pdf281.56 KB